Harris may seek help from other jurisdictions for CCTV trawl as body cams to be 'fast-tracked'

harris may seek help from other jurisdictions for cctv trawl as body cams to be 'fast-tracked'

Harris may seek help from other jurisdictions for CCTV trawl as body cams to be ‘fast-tracked’

Gardaí have been asked to fast-track procurement of body cameras for officers, while the force may seek help from law enforcement in other jurisdictions in trawling the sheer volume of CCTV footage from last week’s riots.

Addressing Dublin city’s Joint Policing Committee on Monday, Drew Harris said that An Garda Síochána may seek the help of law enforcement agencies abroad to “advance the investigation” as further arrests appear likely following the disorder last Thursday.

“We have a huge task in terms of the thousands of hours of CCTV,” he said. “I have to look to all the possibilities in terms of how we expedite that.”

Comparing the task facing gardaí now to the aftermath of the 2006 ‘Love Ulster’ riots in Dublin, the garda commissioner said that took 18 months to complete and a similar timeline here would mean individuals remain “at large, not brought to justice and remain a risk in terms of crime”.

Mr Harris said that the far-right movement in Ireland is “very nebulous” and are “careful as well not to cross the line in terms of the offences they may commit”.

He said that “very serious disinformation” was spread on social media platforms, while taking steps to tackle these issues is a “constant battle”.

Mr Harris defended the actions of gardaí and the organisation last Thursday, and hailed their “magnificent job” in responding to the rioting.

He added that he was “acutely aware of the need for visibility and presence on the streets”, and insisted it was not the case that gardaí were “unprepared” to handle the disorder.

It comes as Cabinet will be briefed today on new supports for gardaí and clarity on the use of force when dealing with public order incidents.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee will inform ministers she has asked An Garda Síochána to consider how to fast-track the purchase of Garda bodycams.

The legislation to allow An Garda Síochána use bodycams will pass all stages in the Oireachtas this week, and they are due to be rolled out by the middle of next year.

Minister McEntee has also instructed her officials to expand the scope of her Facial Recognition Technology legislation to include riot and violent disorder. The draft facial recognition technology law, which the Minister has been working on, will be ready to be approved by Government within weeks.

It is understood that the minister “firmly believes” An Garda Síochána did “an excellent job” in bringing the riots under control in Dublin last Thursday.

Ms McEntee will defend her position during a Dáil debate on last week’s events on Tuesday and will take Leaders’ Questions for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Wednesday – an arrangement agreed before last week.

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